NASHVILLE WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAWYERS
Downard & Associates handles workers’ compensation cases and their attorneys have years of experience in representing injured workers. Our attorneys have successfully represented Tennesseans from all over the State of Tennessee in ensuring that they receive all the benefits they are entitled to under the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act.
WHAT IS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION?
Workers’ compensation provides insurance to cover medical care and compensation for employees who are injured in the course of employment, in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee’s right to sue his or her employer for negligence.
Tennessee Workers’ Compensation laws are enacted by the Tennessee Legislature to provide employees, and in some cases their dependents, certain benefits when the employee is injured, killed, made ill or disabled as a result of work-related accidents or conditions that arise out of the employee’s job duties.
The employer however, must be an employer that is subject to the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation laws. Many businesses in Tennessee are subject to these statutes.
Some benefits provided to injured workers under workers’ compensation are in the form of money payments made directly to the injured employee. Additionally, medical benefits are paid by the employer and/or their insurance carrier to an employee who has an injury as a result of an accident, injury or occupational disease on-the-job.
In many respects, these same laws also protect employers by setting limits on the amount of benefits and types of recovery available to the injured employee. The good part for the employee though, is that injured employees do not have to prove that their employer caused their injury because of the employer’s negligence. Accordingly, the question of whose fault the injury was is generally not an issue in a workers’ compensation case.
DO YOU NEED A LAWYER IN YOUR WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CASE?
Despite statutes that are designed to protect injured employees during such hardship and financial vulnerability, many claims are denied each year by employers and their insurance carriers for illegitimate reasons. Additionally, even in instances where claims are accepted by the employer and their carrier, the injured employee gets short-changed and does not receive all they are entitled to under the law.
You should consider seeing an attorney if you have concerns that your claim is being wrongfully denied or that you may not get the benefits that you deserve or are entitled to under the law. Insurance adjusters and those handling workers’ compensation claims for employers are experienced and have a level of expertise in working these type claims that most employees do not possess. Also, the insurance companies have a vested, financial interests in minimizing costs associated with an employee’s injury claim, and cannot not be relied upon to always look out for the best interest of the employee. Hiring a lawyer is essential in any of the following situations:
Your employer denies you were injured on the job.
Your carrier has denied benefits.
You cannot get medical treatment.
You are not getting paid.
The adjuster promises benefits or care, but nothing materializes.
An attorney for the employer or insurance company contacts you and wants to take a deposition.
You want to sue a third person, so you begin to represent yourself but encounter someone on the other side who is particularly difficult and is trying to take advantage of your inexperience.
*The employee receives money (usually on a weekly or biweekly basis) and medical benefits in exchange for waiving the right to sue the employer under the common law.
At Downard & Associates, we offer a free initial consultation to help you decide whether or not you could benefit from having legal representation. We also will help ensure that you get all you are entitled to under the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act and guide you through each step of the process in such a way that you not only get what you deserve but that you also do not make any choices that might harm your claim.
WHAT ARE YOU ENTITLED TO?
Here are some of the things the injured employee is entitled to under Workers’ Compensation Law:
A. Disability Benefits
Weekly benefits are paid if the authorized physician finds that the employee is unable to work due to the injury.
Compensation begins on the eighth (8th) day of disability from work following the injury. The date of injury and the first seven (7) days following are a waiting period and no benefits are payable unless the disability lasts at least eight days.
Benefits are due for each day over the seven-day waiting period until the lost time reaches fourteen (14) days; then, weekly temporary total disability benefits will be calculated beginning with the day following the injury.
Temporary total disability benefits are based on 66 2/3% of the employee’s gross average weekly wage for the last 52 weeks worked prior to the injury, subject to the minimum and maximum benefits as provided by the Workers’ Compensation Law.
Weekly benefits for the total disability are based on 66 2/3% of the employee’s gross average weekly wage for the last 52 weeks worked prior to the injury, subject to the minimum and maximum benefits as provided by the Workers’ Compensation Law.
If you have problems with any part of your claim, please complete a C-40A Request for Assistance form and submit it to the Workers’ Compensation Division.
B. Medical Benefits
The employer is to provide, free of charge, a panel of three physicians from which the employee selects one for treatment, termed the authorized treating physician. This physician will direct all medical treatment for the employee’s workers’ compensation injury.
If a specialist is required, the physician may refer the employee; or, the employer may offer another panel of specialist from which to choose.
Medical treatment extends for as long as required by the authorized treating physician. If appropriate, this physician will provide the employee with off-work excuses and light or restricted duty limitations. It is very important that the authorized physician’s instructions and restrictions be followed at all times.
C. Permanent Disability and Final Settlement
When the injury has healed, the injured employee will be released from the physician’s care.
If the injured employee does not recover completely, the employee will reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) and the physician will assign a permanent partial disability (PPD) rating.
This PPD rating, combined with vocational factors, may result in a permanent disability settlement from the workers’ compensation insurance company.
Not all injuries result in a permanent impairment and entitle the employee to permanent partial disability benefits.
IS THERE A TIME LIMIT ON WHEN I CAN FILE A LAWSUIT IN A
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIM?
There is a statute of limitations in a workers’ compensation claim which time bars an injured employee from pursuing their rights under workers’ compensation in a court of law.
Generally, the right to workers’ compensation benefits is barred unless within one year after the injury occurred or the injured worker was informed his condition is permanent and related to his employment, workers’ compensation benefits are paid or a claim for workers’ compensation is filed with a court of competent jurisdiction.
Let Downard & Associates help you handle your workers’ compensation case, their attorneys have years of experience in representing injured workers. We only get paid if we are successful in recovering monetary damages in your case. If we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us anything. Call today and speak to an Experienced Attorney, not a paralegal or receptionist.
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Call (888) DOWNARD or fill out our online form.